Wouter de Laat performed his PhD (1998) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (Prof. Jan Hoeijmakers) where he investigated the molecular mechanism of nucleotide excision repair. As a postdoc, he joined the group of Prof. Frank Grosveld to work on beta-globin gene activation. In 2000 he received a Dutch career grant to work on long-range gene activation and in 2008 de Laat moved his group to the Hubrecht Institute. His group made seminal contributions demonstrating the importance of chromatin loops for gene regulation in health and disease. In addition, he pioneered the use of related new sequencing methods in clinical diagnostics. In 2009 he was appointed professor in Biomedical Genomics at the University Medical Center Utrecht. Wouter de Laat is founder of Cergentis, a biotech company that provides services and kits for targeted gene sequencing. He received several national and international career grants including a VICI and an ERC Starting grant. He is a KWF Scientific Board member, an Oncode investigator and elected EMBO member.